So then…the doorbell rings and I freeze. He’s here. The exterminator — the pest control guy — the man who will either give me the “all clear” – or notify me that my home is infested with rodents, which will FREAK ME THE HELL OUT.
I open the door and start babbling before he can even introduce himself.
“Hi, I’m Darcy. Thanks for coming on short notice. Come in, come in. The kitchen’s right through here. I’m terrified of mice and rats and I’m in a panic that we may have them. We moved in recently and I don’t know, there are big palm trees out there with these dead bushy leaves coming down – and someone told me rats LIVE in those leaves, but now I think they’re coming into my house—” My voice goes up in a high-pitched note of hysteria.
The burly pest control guy in his dark green uniform asks, “Where do you think you have mice?”
I open the kitchen cabinet and make a disgusted face. I whisper, “I found mice poop IN my kitchen cabinet!!” I want to gag just thinking about how long mice have been skittering over the dishes and plates that WE EAT OFF OF!! (I’m so upset, I don’t even care that I ended my sentence with a preposition!)
The exterminator looks at the little brown mice poop pellets, then looks around the cabinets a bit. I’m standing to his side, ready to bolt the instant a furry little creature rears his hideous little head.
The pest control guy leans over the little poop pellets, sniffs, then puts his finger on a couple of them and PUTS THEM IN HIS MOUTH.
I repeat, HE PUTS THEM IN HIS MOUTH.
I am stunned. What kind of weirdo freaky exterminator is this? Who have I invited into my home? Maybe he just poses as an exterminator so he can eat mice feces! He will probably kill me now and boil my head for dinner!
“What are you doing?” I sputter.
“You don’t have mice,” he says, pointing to the poop pellets. “You have chocolate sprinkles.”
Oh, Good Lord.
I look closer. He’s right.
I had made cupcakes a while ago with chocolate sprinkles, but all the baking supplies are in the pantry. I don’t know how some of the sprinkles got into the dishes cabinet – but I’ve never been so happy to see a baking condiment in my life!
“So no mice?” I ask with unbridled joy.
“No mice,” he confirms.
I could have kissed him!
But I didn’t.
Because all I can think is — are there some houses where he tries that little test – and it’s not chocolate sprinkles?
— Darcy Perdu
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(Any interactions with strange service people? Ever embarrassed in front of a repairman or technician? Any good stories about critters? Do tell!)